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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...

On Your Mark by Dr. George O. Wood


Recognizing Jesus

When they had crossed over, they landed at Gennesaret and anchored there. As soon as they got out of the boat, people recognized Jesus. They ran throughout that whole region and carried the sick on mats to wherever they heard he was. And wherever he went — into villages, towns or countryside — they placed the sick in the marketplaces. They begged him to let them touch even the edge of his cloak, and all who touched him were healed. (Mark 6:53-56, NIV)

Have you ever gone in the opposite direction from where you intended?

That appears to be the case here. Late the previous afternoon Jesus had sent the disciples sailing to go ahead of Him to Bethsaida. I’ve been by the ruins of Bethsaida many times — it’s on the northeastern part of the Lake of Galilee.

So, if they were headed for Bethsaida, how did they end up at Gennesaret, the fertile plain on the northwestern shore of the lake? Verse 48 gives the clue: “The wind was against them.”

Sometimes the winds of life take us to places we did not plan to go. But that does not mean we are out of God’s will. Getting blown to unintended locations may be instead God’s pathway to open doors.

Consider again the exhaustion of Jesus and the Twelve. One day earlier they had listened to Jesus teach most of the day, and then served to control and feed the crowd of 5,000 men along with women and children. Next, they spent all night rowing in the face of a strong wind — getting nowhere. Jesus himself had been up on a hillside praying through the night.

So, lots of work and prayer — and no sleep or rest.

Have you ever had that experience? You deserved a break from what has exhausted you, and just at the very moment you thought it was coming something else intervened and you had to draw upon reserves of strength physically, emotionally and spiritually that you did not know you had?

That’s the case with the disciples of Jesus. With no sleep, they’re back dealing with crowds that throng Jesus everywhere He goes. Doesn’t matter where — in town, out of town, in the country, small places, bigger places. Everyone is trying to get to Jesus!

The people don’t gather seeking the disciples; they come because of Jesus. That’s a lesson for the Church today. Do people recognize Jesus is present? Or do they hear the Church sermonizing, lecturing, politicking — encapsulated in its own programs and activities?

Our mission is to help people get to Jesus!

Look at the contrast between the beginning of Mark 6 and the end. As we entered the chapter, Jesus’ own hometown rejected Him. As we end the chapter, people from everywhere are welcoming Him.

The crowds thronging to Jesus show us that people respond when their needs are met. Living in a day when there was no decent medical help, Jesus presented their only option for a cure.

The long and short of it is that when word gets out that the church of Jesus Christ meets the needs of people, they will flock in. People with needs respond to Jesus. They may not always stay with Jesus once their needs are met — but that does not prevent Jesus from helping them.

A prayer of response
Lord Jesus, You did not have a smart advertising campaign to draw people. You just went about doing good — using the power God had given You on behalf of others. Help me to use the abilities You have given me to help others also.

GEORGE O. WOOD is general superintendent of the Assemblies of God.

On Your Mark

Previous Years

2013 On Your Mark

2012 On Your Mark

2011 On Your Mark

2010 On Your Mark

2009 On Your Mark

2008 On Your Mark

Podcasts of On Your Mark are available in video and audio.
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